The right and wrong way to trim your cat’s claws

Maybe I’m a lazy cat owner (because I still haven’t brushed my cat’s teeth – I would link to the post but I seemed to have a lost a few the last time I migrated the blog), but I’ve never trimmed a cat’s claws. Mostly because Olive’s front claws were removed (not by me), so she only has back claws, and cats can’t do as much with just back claws.

But foster cat Chance has all of his claws intact. And they are quite pointy. And our IKEA couch is getting the brunt of it.

Cure for a cat scratching your couch? Packing tape. Super classy.

Anywho, I figured I could trim Chance’s claws. How hard could it be, right? I got a pair of trimmers. Read the tips online. Waited until he was chilling out next to me last night …

I was able to successfully trim about 4-5 claws. Until one little claw trimming flew from his paw … and landed in his eye. It was time to stop trimming. I also didn’t know what to do about the tiny piece of claw in his eye and he didn’t seem to want to cooperate with me getting it out (not that I had any idea how to safely get it out), so I hoped it would just work it’s way out.

I’m not sure if it worked it’s way out, but when we got home from work tonight, we noticed his eye was squinty and red.

This was later, but of course I couldn’t get a good picture of it. But we were worried enough  that we took him to the vet to get it checked out. (Because of course I had to look up online what happens if your cat has something in his eye and of course they share worse case scenario … he could go blind.) Luckily, he didn’t have any tears or irritations on the cornea, so the official diagnosis was Conjunctivitis, which sounds worse than it is – it’s just an inflammation of the inner eyelid.

And while we were there, I asked the nice people at the vet if they could finish the job of trimming his claws. Which they did. (So, that would be the right way – get someone more experienced to do it for you. For the record, Petsmart charges $12 for a nail trim, which is less than 10% of Chance’s vet bill.)

And now Chance gets a daily anti-inflammatory pill and eye drops. Hiding the pill in a piece of meat is easy. You can guess how much he likes the eye drops. It took two tries, but I was able to successfully get a drop in his eye this evening. I thought it would take a lot more attempts. I blame Olive because she’s so uncooperative.

But maybe I should attempt to brush Olive’s teeth again. I’m … on a roll?

In the meantime, here is what Chance’s eyes normally look like.


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3 Comments on “The right and wrong way to trim your cat’s claws”

  1. I hope Chance’s eye is healing up well! I also learned a hard lesson trying to trim my dog’s nails – cut 2 of them too short and cut the quick and those suckers would not stop bleeding. Blood on a dog’s paw and carpet do not mix. Fun fact I learned though: corn starch helps stop the bleeding. I’ll also be having a professional do it from now on. Sometimes my desire to be cheap gets in my way 😉

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